Tom Humphrey
Sydney
Australia

Tom Humphrey

Investments
Principal
Sydney
Australia

About Me

I sit in Blackbird's investment team. Prior to investing, I spent 8 years on the operating side. I first got into startups by joining OurDeal, a D2C ecommerce company based in Sydney that grew fast to 80 FTEs and an exit to News Corp just 12 months from founding. I then headed to San Francisco to launch a company with my sister called Kanopy, a B2B video streaming company that eventually exited to private equity. Returning to Australia in 2021 after 10 years in the USA, I am super excited to see much the ecosystem has blossomed - venture investment was ~$100M in 2011 versus $10B in 2021 with so many incredible companies to point at.

I spent one year working in the Pilbara on a mine site. Average temperature in summer was 55 o'Celcius, I slept in a refurbished shipping container, and had to be treated at the hospital at one point after being bitten by a snake.

What do you do at Blackbird?

I sit in the investments team in our Sydney office. I seek to partner with the most ambitious of Australia's founders to build world class businesses.

What did you do before Blackbird?

Spent 8 years building two companies - Kanopy, a B2B video streaming company based in San Francisco and OurDeal, a D2C ecommerce website based in Sydney. Immediately before joining Blackbird in 2021, I spent 2 years with a US-based VC fund.

What do you believe that others do not?

Possibility > Probability

What companies have you invested in?

A number of companies prior to joining Blackbird. At Blackbird, as of June 2022, I have been involved in Forage, Fl0, Cyble and 6 others that are still in stealth!

What ideas are you excited by right now?

I love geeking out on new innovations in B2B sales and go-to-market models (see the Blackbird blog!). I love new market-making and category defining businesses where the competition is non-consumption (eg. Forage is defining a new category of recruitment of "pre-skilling"). I love companies that are "trojan horses" - doing something today that is a beachhead for something huge down the track (eg. Canva starting with presentations as a beachhead for the product depth they have today). I love user and product obsessed businesses that orientate around customer love and strong "north star" usage-based metrics. I love networked businesses which compound value through user and engagement growth. The future of work, education, consumer, automation, ... there is so much to be excited about right now!

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Tom Humphrey